Thursday, March 7, 2019

Top 8 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is very much like any other big Indian city. A promise of a good standard of living, high quality education, capital appreciation, budding infrastructure, lots of career opportunities, safety for women and children and a cultural haven make it one of the best bets to buy a home in India. But if you are a first-time home-buyer it can be quite a daunting experience with no proper guidance. Read on to know the top 8 tips if you are a buying a house in Ahmedabad for the first time.

1. Begin saving a part of your earnings every month
The most important thing for you to do is to start saving money as early as possible. Why? The cost of property in Ahmedabad is on the rise and having a surplus of cash in advance will mean you will be able to book your home at the earliest. You will need this cash for the down payment of your new home. A few things you can do to collect a part of your down payment are: save your tax refunds or any bonus you get from your office. You can also invest in fixed deposits or mutual funds.

2. You can afford to wait even if you are sure this house is the one 
Unlike foreign cities like New York and London where the unsold inventory is rather marginal, the fact is that the number of unsold units is relatively high in Ahmedabad. So do not rush to seal the deal. Wait see if you can get a good discount deal from the developer. Sometimes, all it takes is a little coaxing in a charismatic manner and the builder will come around and drop the price a little. If during the time you decide to wait, you get to know of another buyer who is equally keen to buy the house you have set your sights on then it would be best to go ahead with the deal and not wait. However, this kind of scenario is rather rare.

3. Keep your emotions aside and be practical
If you happen to fall in love with a home that is beyond your budget then the best thing to do is to let it go. Yes, let it go! Do not get emotionally attached to a property you merely visit once or twice. You will have to weigh the pros and cons before you make such a huge investment. Home buying for you should be a pleasant experience and not a cumbersome one. Do proper research. See factors like how close the house is to the nearby bus stop, railway station, metro and airport. Factors like proximity to schools, market, mall, entertainment hubs etc. are vital ones.

4. Get a good real estate agent
While it will no doubt save your money if you choose to let go of an agent, it is not a practical idea. Remember that in case you opt to do all the research yourself, chances you your maiden home buying experience being hassle free will be very low. How many times will your boss grant you a half day or leave just because you want to go and have a look at property? Your real estate agent will act as your eyes, ears and legs and do all the running around on your behalf. The trick here is to make sure you don’t succumb to any pressure from the agent and ultimately make the final buying decision on your own. Your real estate agent has to be someone who has your best interests at heart and not a greedy one who is only concerned about getting his/her commission while not caring about your needs at all. You will be able to undermine this only when you spend decent time interacting with a couple of agents. Ask all of them the same questions and then see which out of them seems the most genuine.

5. Talk to your agent
Only zeroing in on a good agent is not enough. Even the best agents won’t be able to perform according to your expectations unless you actually tell then what is it exactly that you are looking for. The more specific you are, the easier their job will become. For example, 1BHK near the station is not going to get you any good results, however, 1BHK in a quiet area near Satellite and Iscon Mega Mall will. This in turn will save a lot of time and effort and make the process easy for both you as well as your agent.

6. Indulge in a little recce through the Internet
Do not leave everything on your agent. Do some research yourself in your free time. The best way to do that would be to use the Internet. Read up on the areas and localities you have set your sights on. Details like how is the traffic there, proximity to hospitals and other amenities are easy to find online. Also, you can use the Internet to read up reviews about a particular builder your agent recommends. While this would seem like a mundane task, it would be very helpful especially if something slips out of the radar of your agent.

7. Avail affordable housing schemes + home loan schemes
In Ahmedabad, you can avail of the government’s affordable housing scheme PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana). Through this scheme, you will be able to buy your dream home at affordable housing rates as well as get a good deal on a bank’s home loan offer. So find out which bank in the city has a special tie up with the scheme for home loan applications. Mostly, all major banks have tied up with the government under this scheme but still its best to check. Even under a normal home loan scheme, every bank offers a different rate of interest against the loan amount. It is also important to check how much monthly EMI will be deducted from your salary once the process starts. Make sure the bank you choose does not deduct your entire salary amount or does not expect a monthly EMI which is higher than your monthly earnings. You will also have to check the total number of years the bank expects you to return the loan amount.

8. Give preference to a project which has received OC
While the GST council did announce a slash in the GST amounts for under-construction residential projects to 5 percent and 1 percent (for affordable housing) from 12 percent and 8 percent respectively. You will be exempted to pay any GST if the house you choose to buy has already received an OC (occupation certificate). Especially if you have a tight budget, this would act as a boon to you.

Follow these tips and get ready to make your dream of owning a home in Ahmedabad a reality.

This is a guest post by Vipul

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